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Old January 27th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #1
Chicagoago
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MISC | Real Time Tracking

So I LOVE this new system they have in Chicago that shows up to the second where buses are in the city.

It's freezing cold here now, but it's nice I can sit in my living room, see exactly where the bus is, and run outside to the stop the second it arrives.

So far they have 86 bus routes on the system, and are expecing to increase it by another 67 bus routes by the end of this year for a total of 153 routes covered.

They're also putting up signs (FINALLY) at the rail stations stating how many minutes until the next train. It's also fairly user friendly now online to see up to the minute delays on every train or bus line in the city, as well as any elevators and escalators that are out of service.

This was one of the biggest complaints for the system - people wanted to know when a bus/train was coming, why they never said a word when there were huge delays, and what elevators are broken?

Here's the system:

http://ctabustracker.com/bustime/map/displaymap.jsp

You click the routes on the right and just pick a few. It's VERY user friendly, which is good. I figured it out in a matter of seconds.

You can move around the city. Good ones to start that should show up right away in the downtown area are #8, #11, #36, #20, #151...

They're all on the map, but Chicago is so huge many of the routes are way to the north/south of downtown.

I'm pretty sad....I could sit there for an hour just playing around with this...

ANYWAY. Does your city have something like this? I'd love to see it...

Last edited by dimlys1994; March 19th, 2016 at 02:15 PM.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #2
Chicagoago
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You can also click on a specific bus, and it tells you exactly where it is, and the next 4 stops.

If you click "Route Progress" it will show you a line of the route with all the buses going in that direction, and where they are in relation to each other.

For instance I clicked on the #36 route that goes by my house, and I can see there are currently 11 buses on that entire route which are going northbound. So if I'm going to miss the current bus, I can judge how far behind the others are located...
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Old January 27th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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San Francisco Muni uses NextBus real-time arrival. You can visit the site online to find real-time information about all lines in the network (diesel/trolley bus, LRV, historic streetcar, cable car). I've never used it, but you can also configure your cell phone or PDA to give you an "alert" when your vehicle arrives. There are also displays at many bus shelters that relay the same information to waiting passengers, which is:

1. Extremely reassuring. Before you never knew if the bus/train was going to come or not, given Muni's poor on-time performance and high number of missed runs due to lack of operators/vehicles.

2. Extremely useful in deciding which bus to take. If you have two lines to to get where you need to go, but the travel times vary, you don't have to get on the first one that comes because you never know when the one after is coming. It's also good when there's bunching (a major problem on the bus lines), as you can skip the first crowded bus knowing there's probably an emptier one coming x minutes after.

The website is here: http://www.nextbus.com/
There's several other, mostly smaller agencies on there as well.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #4
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Nice, it looks like the suburban Chicago buses are actually hooked into that network as well, but only on one (I assume) tester route.

I will love knowing on the trains how long until the next comes. That always drove people INSANE.

My friend Monica stated "I don't even care if it's fifty god damn minutes until the next train. I just want to know WHEN....then I'll calm down. Now I just sit and pace the station and get all worked up wondering.....do I hear it now....or will I still be here in half an hour"
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Old January 27th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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Cool - nice system!

All I know of with simular system here is the S-Train :http://byenspuls.dsb.dk/byens_puls/ByensPuls.html

Our bus stops do have GPS based countdown displays, but it doesn't seem like there's any overview map... only the estimated arrival times at stops
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #6
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^ Yeah, I love those at the bus stops. I used them for the trams all the time in Amsterdam.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:15 AM   #7
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In Vancouver, Canada, All the bus stops have stop numbers. If you text the stop number the number on the post post, you will receive a text back right away with the next bus time. I think they've tied it into GPS, so the estimates are based on the bus, and not the schedule, but I could be mistaken on that.

We don't have those on the train system here, because they run short trains every minute or two... so you're never really waiting for long.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:01 PM   #8
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I always liked the way the Barcelona metro told you when the next train was coming - to the second! It was always on time too: with about 20 seconds to go the train would come rushing up to the platform.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #9
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Zaragoza has a system that informs you of the next two buses. You need to enter the bus operator website, TUZSA, and you chose the line you need, direction, and bus stop post number. To help you identify which one, the website shows you the route, with all the stops numbered...

The system is good... when it works. Recently, we had some old buses that had not been connected to the system... therefore, you could see rather odd frequencies. The map shows many buses... but dont be fooled. They represent bustops... hehehe... just in case you think we have a "tunnel" of buses...

Fortunately now, it more or less works... However, I would love to have AS WELL, the system that Chicagoago showed that is present in Chicago. I really loved watching the buses move along the map...

The good thing is that if you are out in the street, far away from any computer with Internet, you can text your mobile, indicating the post number, and will text you back with the times of the buses due... It is not free... but it can help too. Furtunately, too, the bus stops are being installed now with display for waiting time...

I will also include another entry with other cities I know have one.
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Last edited by Chusanch; January 29th, 2009 at 12:11 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #10
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Tranvías de La Coruña also have a system that informs online about the arrival of the buses... It is a rather old fashioned way. you see the bus stops in blue, the buses in red, and you need to refresh manually... There is no line in the map that shows you the streets the bus go, specially, when you zoom out... but, if you keep refreshing... you get the movement of the buses.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 06:59 AM   #11
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I read in the newspaper here in Sweden that Chicago officials were astounded when they found out that some 15 percent of all the users of this service were registered as being...Norwegian!

Turned out that most of the people who use it with their cell phones had a browser which routes traffic through a server in Norway. So it wasn't due to an increased Norwegian interest in Chicago mass transit
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Old January 31st, 2009, 07:35 AM   #12
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Vancouver will be implementing this soon within this year. Our buses are all GPS equipped.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 07:40 AM   #13
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Osijek, Croatia:
http://www.gpp-osijek.com/website/gppmap.html
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Old February 1st, 2009, 10:45 AM   #14
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There is one I really like... Helsinki's one... Check it..
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